TOP 7 IT MISTAKES | 2 LACK OF INVESTMENT

If you have a monopoly, you can eschew efficiency and use pencils, ledgers and hand cranked adding machines.

But you don’t!

Instead, you’re in a race against your competitors, and the smart ones are using the best IT tools and finding innovative ways of improving their business.

This means they can be more productive, more efficient and offer a superior service.

Failing to invest in IT assets not only reduces the comparative capacity of a business, it also has a detrimental effect on the team. The good ones leave for better working conditions, leaving lower calibre staff using out of date technology, and increased recruitment costs.

But chefs don’t use blunt knives. So why make employees use slow computers?

Mid-tier firms should spend ~6-7% of revenue on IT annually. Yet all too often, they balk at providing the quality tools that the business needs.

And not understanding the value is no excuse.

In the late 90s, some businesses considered a website to be an unnecessary expense.

By 2014, mid-tier firms in Australia generated nearly $60b in internet income.

In 2017 it was nearly $100b.

An investment in IT is an investment for tomorrow.

A failure to invest could well be an investment in failure.


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

TOP 7 IT MISTAKES | 3 FAILING TO ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS

Just a decade ago, if you weren’t available to talk to a customer on the phone you risked losing them.

Today, direct voice communication plays second fiddle to electronic engagement.

In fact, twice as many customers and prospects would opt for electronic communications rather than the phone.

But most business leaders believe it to be the other way round.

This gap means there are opportunities for forward thinking businesses to innovate, lowering costs, improving their customer experience, and disrupting their competition.

So what can you do?

AI and bots are beginning to demonstrate value, allowing for some conversations to be handled entirely by technology.

But if the cutting edge isn’t for you, how about a web based customer portal?

Rather than customers calling expensive call centre staff, applications such as these provide self service functionality and create additional touch points.

They’re relatively cheap to build and pay for themselves quickly by reducing wages and improving engagement.

Best of all, you have an opportunity to sell directly to a soft target, increasing your customer lifetime value.

So, are you using IT to engage with your people?

And if not, WHY NOT?!


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

5 PRINCIPLES OF TECHNOLOGY USE

In my latest article for SmallVille, I’ve gone back to basics, outlining the 5 fundamental principles that we should all follow when implementing IT in business.

FOUNDATION – Systems | Solutions | Strategy

ASSISTANCE – Equip | Educate | Encourage

SIMPLIFY – Processes | Procedures | Practices

ENGAGE – Customers | Connect | Collaborate

STRENGTH – Invest | Innovate | Iterate

If you want to know more about these principles and how they work in real life, you can find out a lot more in my book ‘Doing IT for Money‘.


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

TOP 7 IT MISTAKES | 4 POOR STRATEGY

The marketing team identifies a need and buys some software to solve it. Accounting identifies a similar need but implements a different solution.

Sound familiar?

HLB Mann Judd found that only 20% of SMEs have a business plan, so very few will an IT strategy. This means most are spending big on IT solutions with no real plan other than to resolve the issue immediately before them.

This is like playing IT whack-a-mole.

IT is an enabler. Its sole purpose is to support the business and marketing goals.

Yet evidence strongly suggests that most simply don’t understand this fundament of IT, or are willfully ignoring it!

Your IT strategy doesn’t need to be complex. IT simply needs to identify how technology will serve the needs of the business today and tomorrow, and how it will build a foundation on which it will operate for the foreseeable future.

So there are 3 things you need to do.

Take the time to develop a core business plan for the next 5 years.

Talk to your team at every level and understand their needs.

Hire someone to help you translate those requirements in to a pragmatic IT strategy.

Without this, you’re guessing.

And as I say, IT is only ever a cost when it’s poorly implemented.


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

TOP 7 IT MISTAKES | 5 SETTING AND FORGETTING

You implement a new system or solution, rejoicing in its success and patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Some time later, it suddenly breaks down and you’re forced in to an expensive upgrade that interrupts your business and generally causes chaos.

Sound familiar?

Events such as this are almost entirely avoidable with regular maintenance and servicing.

Manufacturing equipment, vehicles and your air con systems get a regular once over to ensure they’re working and fit for purpose.

Why treat IT systems differently?

Businesses are fluid things. They change in response to markets, legislation, government,
salaries, staff, customers and many other factors.

And that means your IT needs to adapt, because it’s supposed to accurately serve the needs of your business.

And just like a building, it’s far cheaper to keep it maintained than it is to knock it down and build a new one.

So, get rid of any ideas you have about IT being set and forget.

Instead, make sure software, hardware and firmware are regularly updated, and take the time to ask your team whether the tools they’re using help them or hinder them.

If you don’t, you’re just setting yourself up for a very big fall.


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

TOP 7 IT MISTAKES | 6 NEW SYSTEMS AND SOLUTIONS

You spend your hard earned cash on a new tool. 6 months later it’s shelfware.

The initial problem still isn’t solved and you’ve wasted time, money and opportunity.

Sound familiar?

Successful implementations don’t happen by chance. They need all stakeholders at all levels to be on board.

Culture starts at the top and works its way down, so if you want your team to engage with the new IT toys you give them, there are some things you need to do.

Ensure they’re given every opportunity to succeed by keeping training courses and go-live dates close together. The longer the gap the worse the result.

Create evangelists to know everything about the solution, provide support and limit interruption.

Actively encourage its use and accept that there will likely be a short term drop in productivity. If necessary, hire consultants or temporary staff to help out.

These extras are a small price to pay to get your team up to speed. But the quicker they do, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards of your new systems, so bite the bullet of any additional costs.

If you don’t, you’ll spend time, effort and money on something to solve a problem, but the problem will still be there and you’ll have less money.


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

TOP 7 IT MISTAKES | 7 POOR TRAINING

There’s no doubt that training pays for itself many times over, but all too often I see this.

New software is provided. The recipient is pointed towards the online resources and then left to it.

Sound familiar?

Sadly, this all too common technique is used to save a few $$$ upfront, but ends up costing many thousands later.

Here’s why.

Firstly, it guarantees inefficient use of the tool, and that’s just plain wasteful.

Why employ poorly trained people who don’t know what they’re doing?

Madness!

Secondly, in just about every survey of desirable job features, personal development is considered to be more important than money.

Think about that for a sec.

Invest in your people and you can pay them less!

Of course, there are misanthropes who dislike paying for education, saying that staff just leave and take their new skills to a new employer…and some do.

But most stay and the business will benefit.

However, the real kicker is this.

If you don’t provide training, staff turnover will likely increase, and it’ll be the better team members who leave.

So you wind up with increased recruitment costs and a lower calibre team.

And that’s a huge price to pay to avoid spending a little on education.


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

THE BIGGEST IT PROBLEM…IN THE WORLD

There are 3 IT related issues that pop up repeatedly in medium sized businesses.

 IT is considered a cost rather than an asset
 A lack of investment results in poor tools, inefficiency and lower morale
 A failure to engage with clients leads to lower sales and increased customer churn

Find all three of these in one organisation and it’s almost certain that hundreds of thousands of $$$ are being wasted annually.

But if we look beyond these symptoms, we’ll find the real issue, and it’s this that is the biggest IT problem.

And it’s found the world over.

Business today is digital and IT is pervasive. And this means that just about every facet of a company is dependent on IT in some way.

So it would seem reasonable then to expect business leaders to understand how to leverage what is now an absolutely essential tool.

And yet, there are countless organisations being run by people who simply don’t get IT or its value.

To them, IT budget is a just a big black hole in to which they throw thousands of dollars and get next to nothing back.

Happily, the solution to this is both cheap and simple.

EDUCATION!

And you can start by reading my new book ‘Doing IT for Money’

https://www.amazon.com.au/Doing-Money-Business…/…/1781333386


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.

TOP 7 IT MISTAKES

I see these same 7 mistakes all the time, and they’re costing businesses hundreds of thousands of $$$ every year.

  1. Poor training – A poorly trained team is inefficient, less motivated and more likely to leave.
  2. New systems and solutions – Poor engagement with and promotion of new tools risks them being sidelined or ignored, wasting time and money.
  3. Setting and Forgetting – Yesterday’s right is tomorrow’s wrong. Review your IT regularly to make sure that it still serves your needs.
  4. Poor strategy – IT is an enabler. It’s there to support your business and marketing goals. If you’re not serving those needs, you’re wasting time and money.
  5. Failing to engage with customers – most customers prefer to communicate via phone or electronically, but few businesses think the same. A poor customer experience means they’ll go elsewhere
  6. Lack of investment – You’re in a race against your competitors. They’re innovating, and if you don’t you’ll be left behind.
  7. Thinking of IT as a cost – This is a disease that slowly incapacitates its host by strangling investment and innovation. The team becomes demotivated, inefficient, and are unable to provide anything other than an inferior customer experience.

Which ones apply to you?


[ut_button color=”theme-btn” link=”https://marshallfloyd.com.au/contact” size=”small” shape=”round” ]100 Tips and Hints[/ut_button]

MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.